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EdPDX 08-28-2010 02:48 PM

New water heater: Is the copper tube from the
BLUE stub on to of the heater supposed to get hot? I just replaced the electric with a same size electric last night- today I notice the cold stub has hot water running IN/OUT of it- it's HOT at any rate- Please tell me this is normal and I didn't reverse and ruin things.

DangerMouse 08-28-2010 03:20 PM

Cold water goes IN to the blue pipe, hot water comes OUT of the red.

Hope this helps.


DangerMouse 08-28-2010 03:22 PM

Oops, yes, the blue pipe will get somewhat warm when the hot water has not been used for a while to draw cold water through (the blue pipe) to cool it.


EdPDX 08-28-2010 03:59 PM

Just checked again> The electric heater is the one rated by Consumer something as a best buy. Its the GE. I installed it in place of a leaky unknown brand. The COLD line was on the same side so I just lined them up and hooked them up the same.

When I check the temp by feel, I see that the one from the COLD stub is HOT. The line attached to the HOT stub is barely warm. The supply lines are not marked, and I can't tell if one is truly coming in off the main supply.

All I need to know is: 1: can the water heater still be supplying hot water effectively- there is hot water in all the right places in my home now.
2: Is the current condition of my hot COLD line and room temp Hot line the norm?

DangerMouse 08-28-2010 05:03 PM

Run the hot water into the tub for a minute or so, then feel cold pipe, it should be cold.
If so, you're probably fine.


DangerMouse 08-28-2010 05:05 PM

Oh, .....if not, they're backwards...... Po)


DangerMouse 08-28-2010 05:07 PM

If they ARE backwards, the heater will not run as efficiently as it should, although you would still get hot water.


EdPDX 08-28-2010 11:56 PM

Can't be mixed up or all the HOT supply lines in my house would now be giving COLD water right? ... Unless they have all been wrong from the start! Hmmm anyone else' cold line hotter than the line from the HOT stub on their electric Water heater? Help me out here. I just paid over$600 for a new heater and I don't want to run it for the next 12 years in reverse. :huh:

COLDIRON 08-29-2010 06:57 AM

Relax and just follow Dangers advise, think about it.. you will be OK no biggie. That stuff happens all the time it can be corrected if wrong.

AllanJ 08-29-2010 07:52 AM

Running a hot water faucet and then feeling the pipes at the water heater will not reveal whether the heater was hooked up incorrectly.

INcorrect hookup would result in things like seemingly running out of hot water unusually quickly, or changes in water temperature, or in the case of an electric heater, the upper element coming on before much hot water was used. These symptoms would be inconsistent and erratic.

The metal tank itself will conduct heat into the first foot or so of the cold water line. Also, water expands a little when heated and may expand out the cold line (pushing some water back to the water main or well) causing that line to get warm.

DangerMouse 08-29-2010 08:30 AM

The manufacturers try to make it as foolproof as possible by STAMPING the words 'hot' and 'cold' right in the steel, as well as blue (cold) and red (hot) plastic rings where each pipe should go. Take a look at your old tank and be sure the cold and hot inlets/outlets match up to the new one.


LateralConcepts 08-29-2010 09:21 AM

If your new WH didn't come with them already, replace the nipples with dielectric "heat trap" nipples. As AllanJ mentioned, the warmth you're feeling in the cold water supply is caused by thermal expansion. I doubt you hooked it up backwards.

AllanJ 08-29-2010 02:10 PM

If you do replace the nipples, gently put a coat hanger or similar wire with a 1/2 inch L bend in each opening and work it up and down a few inches. The wire will catch right away inside the hot outlet but will not catch in the cold inlet because there it is going down the dip tube that properly brings cold water to the bottom of the tank.

For the time being, just put a foam cover on the pipe to reduce heat loss to the air via the exposed warm pipe.

Gary in WA 08-29-2010 08:05 PM

Unless the system is really old, the cold supply should have a gate valve on it. To stop the heat from warming the incoming line, use a supply long enough to create a heat loop. Insulation outside the cold line won’t stop the heated water inside. There may also be an expansion tank, pressure reducing valve, or a pressure gauge on the cold line.

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